Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 26, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

4:00 pm
11/26/19 11/26/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, thisis is democracy now! >> if the u.n. israeli government can deport somebody without facing consequences, how can we ever stop rights abuse? amy: israel deports the head of human rights watch's israel and palestine office in the latest crackdown on dissent inside israel. we will speak to omar shakir about his deportation anand what
4:01 pm
it means for the future of human rights work in israel. then to iraq, where more than 340 people have been killed since nationwide anti-government protests began in october. >> we are students in buzzer and across iraq continue without protest. we are in the fifth week of the students try. we will prprotest until we overthrow the regime and dissolve parliament and all the political class resigns election law is change. amy: we will speak to the iraqi poet, novelist, translator, and scholar sinan antoon. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a federal judge has ruled president trump cannot block top white house officials from testifying in the ongoing impeachment hearings. the judge's reasoning, "the primary take away from the past 250 years of recorded american history is that
4:02 pm
president are not kings." judge ketanji brown jackson's ruling says former white house counsel don mcgahn must comply with a congressional subpoena and testify to impeachment investigators about president trump's efforts to obstruct the mueller inquiry. the justice department says it will appeal the decision. the ruling could have a sweeping impact on the e impeacachment hearings whehere a number of top officials, including former national security advisoror john bolton, have so far refused to testify. meanwhile, federal prosecutors appeared to be widening the probe into terms personal attorney rudy giuliani. "the wall street journal" reports s recently issuedd subpoenas with ties to giuliani suggest prosecutors may be investigating possible money laundering, obstruction of justice, and campaign-finance violations. the supreme court has blocked a lower ruling that would have required president trump's accounting firm to release his
4:03 pm
financial records to the house oversight and reform committee. the supreme court will decide now whether will hear the case, which can set a major precededet about the balance of power between congress and the executive branch. in northern syria, u.s. troops have resumed combat missions against isis militants two months a after president trump threw the region into turmoil by abruptly announcing the withdrawal of all u.s. troops from northern syria, clearining the way fofor the turkisish grod ininvasion despite trump's claims he was bringing the troops home, some sosoldiers were e moved to irar, while others stayed in northern syria to guard oil fields. now the pentagon says it's resuming combat operations against isis. at least 500 u.s. soldiers are currently deployed to syria, many of them in combat roles. the united nations says greenhouse gas emissions surged to record-high levels last year. the new report also says that the increase in methane levels in 2018 was the highest increase in the last 20 years. methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas.
4:04 pm
this is the world meteorologist organization's secretary-general petteri taalas. >> last year we have seen growth continued, growing for the past estimate for the lester was 2.1% increase. emissions are still growing. amy: in kenya, at least 56 people have died in landslides near the ugandan border. the landslides were triggered by unusually heavy rains. incrcreased rainfall rateses hae been linked to climate change. leaked documents have e shed new light on china's government's network of prison camps in the far western region of xinjiang, where as many one million uighur muslims have been detained without trial. the chinese government says these prisons offer voluntary education. but the leaked documents reveal a campaign to force prisoners to change their language, culture, and religious beliefs.
4:05 pm
british human rights lawyer ben emmersons said -- "it is very difficult to view that as anything other than a mass brainwashing scheme designed and directed at an entire ethnic commmmunity." chinese government has denied carrying o out any human rights violations againstst the u uigh. colombian president ivan duque has called for a national dialogogue as massive protests continue to rock the country following last week's general strike. the demonstrations began as a protest against corruption, economic inequality, and the killing of indigenous and community leaders. many are now calling for the ouster of duquque's right-wing government.. protesters around the world took to the streets monday to protest violence against women. crowds poured into the streets in spain, guatemala, russia, sudan, turkey, south africa, bulgaria, france, chile, colombia, el salvador, and beyond to mark the international day for the elimination of violence against women. this one of the protesters in mexico city.
4:06 pm
>> people suffer daily. they assault us, rob from us, kidnappers, rape as, kill us, and the authorities don't even care. have a little empathy. put yourself in our shoes. they are killing us. you don't even realilize. make laws that are just. death to the rapists. there is no other way. amy: in argentina, two catholic priests were sentenced to over four decades in prison monday for sexually abusing and raping dozens of students with hearing disabilities at an institute in the city of mendoza. one of the priests had previously been investigated for sexual abuse at a school in his home country of italy in the 1970's but was not convicted at the time. a foformer gardener of the s scl in argrgentina was alslso convid for sexual abuse crimes that were reported by over 20 alumni and took plalace between 2004 ad 2016. in minnesota, at least 30 water protectors blockaded the entrance of the enbridge line 3 pipeline monday morning.
4:07 pm
the proposed controversial pipeline would carry tar sands oil from alberta, canada, to a terminal in superior, wisconsin. its path would cut through minnesota, where indigenous communities have been fighting its construction, saying the pipeline would violate tribal sovereignty and contaminate the land and water. maryland menimore, , three who were wrongfully imprisoned in 1983 have walked free from prison after spending 36 years behind bars for a crime they did not commit. alfred chestnut, ransom watkins, and andrew stewart were arrested and jailed on charges of shooting 14-year-old dewitt duckett in the hallway of baltimore's harlem park junior high school, allegedly because they wanted to steal his starter jacket. the three african american teenagers always maintained their innocence. now in their 50's, the three men were released monday after a review of the case revealed multiple errors, including the fact that the statate's attorney
4:08 pm
lied about the evidence and that the police pressured teenage witnesses. google has fired four employees who had been active in labor organizing inside the tech giant. one of the fired workers, rebecca rivers, had objected to google's bid to collaborate with cbp, that's customs and border protection. another one of the fired workers, laurence berland, had protested hate speech on youtube, which is owned by google. the company claims all four workers were fired for violations of google's s data security policies. attorney general william barr announced a nationwide plan to address the crisis of missing and murdered native american women friday during a visit to the flathead reservation in montana. the justice department's new initiative would invest to hire $1.5 million specialized coordinators in 11 u.s. attorneyey's offices that have a large number of caseloads from native american reservations. the coordinator's would be
4:09 pm
responsible for developing protocols to improve the response of law enforcement in missing people cases. for years, indigenous activist have been protesting the high levels of violence against women and girls, and many have called for the restoration of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-native americans who commit crimes on tribal land. this is mary catherine nagel, an attorney and citizen of cherokee nation speaking on democracy now! the u.s. supreme court take away tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-indians and as the u.s. department of justice has reported, the majority of violent crimes against our native w women are committed by non-. ourhat means quite often in tribal governments, their hands are tied because of the legal framework the federal government has put in place. amy: native american women experience some of the highest rates of murder, domestic abuse nationwide with several study showing indigenous women are killed at a rate more than 10 times the national average. and those are some of the
4:10 pm
headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the israeli government deported the head of human rights watch's israel and palestine office, omar shakir, on monday. the organization said the move places israel in an ugly club of authoritarian regimes. israel has accused shakir of supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, a nonviolent global campaign aiming to pressure israel over its treatment of palestinians. a 2017 israeli law bans foreigners from israel i if they publicly support the bds movement. this is omar shakir speaking on monday. government canli support somebody documenting human rights abuse without facing consequence, how cacan we ever stop rights of these?
4:11 pm
we believeve in the e right to e expression including the right of all people to call for boycotts were to oppose boycotts as a part of legitimate freeee expression. amy: the exexecutive d directorf the human rights group b'tselem hagai el-ad tweeted in response to shakir's deportation -- "international and israeli human rights ngo's have much broader leeway, as we enjoy so many more privileges and protections compared to palestinian colleagues. but in targeting hrw, israel aims to deliver a chilling effect across this entire spectrum." well, for more, we go now w to stockholm, sweden, to speak with omar shakir, israel and palestine director for human rights watch. he was just deported and is now traveling around europe to raise awareness about israeli human rights abuses. omar shakir, welcome to democracy now! explain what happened and how long you have been in israel and palestine and what israel did. you, amy, for having
4:12 pm
me. the israeli government for 2.5 yeyears has b been tryiying to r human rightsts watch's access to israel and the occupied palestinian territories. it began with the denial for the organization to hire a foreign employee. when we went public with that effort, they quickly reversed and gave me a work permit but almost immediately began investigating my status. a year and a half ago, the revoked that work permit. we challenge the decision in court. it was upheld in the israeli supreme court. yesterday i was depoported overy human rights advocacy. about thed you talk supreme court decision, what was the basis for it? >> the israeli supreme court essentially interpreted the 2017 law that you mentioned earlier that instructs the interior ministry to deny entry to boycott supporters to apply to rudimentary, basic human rights
4:13 pm
advocacy. the supreme court in essence said if you challenge the legality of israel's settlements, which is a war crime under international law which has been established over many decades, you in essence are attacking the legitimacy of the state of israel. and as a result, or harming israel, posing a threat to the country, the state is legitimate to deny you injury and therefore deport you. not only is israel, which calls itself a democracy, departing -- deporting a human rights defender, but they are actually going a step further and acknowledging they're doing it with the court's stamp of approval over human rightsts wok basesed on international norms. human rights watch has never taken a position on bds. what we do is call on businesses, as we do across the world, to respect human rights. and decades of research has led us to conclude businesses which operate in the illegal settlements invariably contribute to that illegality
4:14 pm
and rights abuse and we have asked for them to stop doing that, which is different than more general boycott call or even a boycott call specific to those companies or israel proper, which we have never done. , forgive the example example, airbnb. what did you call for for them? a a year ago, we released report that document the way in which airbnb's listings in illegal settlements and barely contributed to rights abuse. they were renting properties on land stolen from palestinians who themselves were not allowed to stay there. this is lane in which israeli settlers received permits to build, where palestinians are deny those permits and their also operating on land. in some cases where we were able to establish is privately owned by palestinians who themselves cannot rates they are or benefit from that rental. so we called on airbnb to delist in settlements. wewe did not call for a boycottf airbnb or for airbnb to stop
4:15 pm
doing business inside israel proper. we were holding airbnb to the standards under the u.n. guiding principles, the same things we do whether it be dealing with cotton picking in uzbekistan or tech companies in china. we call on all companies to respect international law, which is different than calling for them to boycott israel or much less calling on consumers to boycott that company. juan: has what happened to you, this deportation, having previously to any human rights watch researchers? if so, where these countries democracies as israel claims to be? >> so o this is the first time ththat a country that so proclaimed itself to be a democracy deports a human rights watch staff member. and access to our staff, israel is joining the ranks of countries like venezuela, egypt, iran t that have barred
4:16 pm
human rights watch step members. we have been document in human rightsts abuses for nearly three decades there. while israel has restricted our accessss to thee occupupied gaza strip,p, we haveve had unfetterd access for this time to israel and the west bank. this is the first time they have deported us. it is the first time anyone that has legal status in the country has been deported under this 2017 law. they are doing so in a way that is aimed to send a chilling message to other rights organizations. amy: human rights watch executive director kenneth roth criticized israel's decision to expel you omar shakir. ,>> it is abobout human rights watch.h. there is no pointnt replacing or because ouour next researcher would have the exact same problem that omar did. israel can pick a researcher. israel can preclude certain topics. imagine what other governments will do? china will say you cannot monitor she and jane. saudi arabia will say you have
4:17 pm
to leave yemen. amy: if you could take that from there, omar shakir, and what you're planning to do right now? absolutely. human rights watch, fries this is a principled issue. we will not let any government have a veto power on issues what we work on or what we cover. our message is quite simple. we will continue to work with dfa home directing the research -- with me at the helm directing the research. one of our regional offices i should mention that does not center our work the way that israel does despite our criticism. we're going to continue to work on the same issues, with the same intensityty, and the same vigor. in fact, i think this sort of decision really pushed us to redouble our efforts because a government that has no qualms about deporting a representative of one of the world's largest human rights organizations certainly has no problem doubling down on the rights abuse that we were documenting in the first place. i have century long occupation
4:18 pm
defined by institutional discrimination and systematic rights abuse. including what is happening in the gaza strip. a decade-long plus closure that includes a ban on travelel, noby in or out outside of exceptional circumstances. while the decision certainly has been difficult on a personal level, israel-palestine has been my home for the last 2.5 years, i think about those that are not able to travel at all. not just the people of gaza, but my colleague at amnesty international who just a few weeks ago was issued a ban to leave the occupied west bank to jordan and previously to jerusalem on undiscsclosed security grounds. what appears to be another attempt to stifle or attempt to stifle the work of human r righs organizations. amy: let me go to that issue at the amnesty researcher. in october, israel issued aa travel ban against laith abu zeyad, a palestinian campaigner for amnesty.
4:19 pm
israel prevented him from departing from the west bank for jordan where he was planning to attend a relative's funeral. israel also denied entry to congressmembers ilhan omar and rashida tlaib. later granting permission for congress member tlaib to visit her family in occupied palestine -- occupied west bank on humanitarian grounds, but she rejected the offer, which included the condition that she not promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. israel has also issued a seriess of travel bans against omar barghouti, the founder of bds movement, and shawan jabarin, director of the palestinian rights organization al-haq. can you comment on these? >> absolutely. this decision is coming amid a context in which there is a systematic assault on human rights organizations. and there is a reason why the israeli government is doing this. they are trying to silence the
4:20 pm
messenger instead of dealing with the human rights issues that are taking place on the ground. but the reality is, these efforts are failing. these efforts s of only -- have only shined a light on the very issues that israel is trying to cover up. but what is happening to me must a small is malted -- is compared to what they face. a recent months, we have seen palestininian prisoner rights organization have their army, heather office raided by the army. we have seen a researcher with bensalem detained while doing fieldwork. if this is the way human rights organizations are being dealt with, think about the millions of palestinians in the year 53 of and argue -- of an ugly occupation where they faced home dedemolitions, movement restrictions that are discriminatory, , not to mention not having the most basic civil and political rights. a 50-year-old palestinian today in the west bank has never had
4:21 pm
the right to free expression, the right to free assembly, the writer free association. they have been living under a brutal military rule that the israeli government was the world to forget about but we won't get about it. juan: both the european union and the united nations have condemned this action by israel, but israel routinely ignores such condemnation from those international bodies. what about the u.s. government? where is it right now on this and could potentially an impact in terms of these kinds of actions of israel against human rights advocates? states has never useded his leverage to actually rein in is really rights abuse, but what we've seen under the trump administration is a ship to green lighting israeli abuses really being complicit in them. in my case, the u.s. embassy
4:22 pm
attended each one of my court hearings up to the u.u.s. are fm court on a working level. get a regular conversation. the state department did make a statement over the summer indicating the support for free expression and a concern about the case. but honestly, we did not see the same kind of strong principled position in protecting the work of civil society groups that we saw from a range of other governments around the world including the european union but also germany, france, many others, as well as civil society groups -- not only palestinian-israeli, but international. the reality here is the united states, whether it be on settlements with the declaration about pompeo recently, whether it palestinian refugees, or of the protection of human rights defenders, the increasing relationship between the netanyahu and trump administration only highlights
4:23 pm
their isolation. because in every other case, the world has stood arounund the principled i issue. the world sees through my deportation, sees it foror whatt is, an attack on the human rights movement. amy: in a sharp reversal to more than 40 years of u.s. policy, the trump administration announced earlier r this month that it no longer views israeli settlements in the occupied west bank to be a violation of international law. in 1978, the state department issued a legal opinion stating settlements were "inconsistent with international law," and every administration, democratic and republican, has upheld that. in 2016, a u.n. resolution declared the settlements a "flagrant violation" of international law. but now secretary of state mike pompeo has announced a reversal to the u.s. position. israel's embattled prime minister benjamin netanyahu -- who has now been indicted -- welcomed pompeo's announcement as a historic day for israel. i wanted to play the clip of palestinian chief negotiator
4:24 pm
saeb erekat condemning the u.s. decision. only illegal under international law, they are war crimes. once the trumpet administration decides to undermine international law, once they become into administration that is pro-israel and the occupation, pro-israel war crimes, this is a major threat to international peace and security. amy: that is saeb erekat. omar shakir, your final response? look, i think the u.s. declaration is a sign of their weakness and their relelevance. the reality is, trump cannot chanange decades of established international law that settlements are e war crimes by decree as much as he may want to. this is not a controversial point. article 49 of the geneva convention makes clear that transfer of one's civilian
4:25 pm
population to territory of acquired by war is impermissible. israeluite clear that wants to have its cake and eat it too. on one hand, it wants to say that settlements in the west are not illegal and in some cases even saying the west bank is not occupied. but on the other hand, they don't want to get palestinians ththe human rights that they wod deserve, includingng the rigigho have full political rights in that kind of arrangement. what we're facing is the increasingly clelear reality t y . between the river and the sea, the land of israel and palestine, have about 13 million people. about half of whom are is-jewish and half are palestinian. palestinians are treated fundamentally unequally. with different sets of inferior rights, whether they're in gaza, the west bank, or israel proper. that reality is becoming increasingly transparent in the world needs to take action to take that. if anything is clear, the fact
4:26 pm
that international outrage did not stop my deportation shipmate critically clear the only way we're going to be able to stop these abuses from continuing is going to be action and heightened action from the international community. i will continue to do this in my role at human rights watch and will continue to do it with our israeli-palestinian partners. i am confident i will be back to israel and palestine one day. when that day comes, i believe it will be a day in which men rights inequality is thee baseline for allll people that lives in the land, not what it is now come exclusive to only one pipe elation. amamy: omar shakir, thank you for being with us, israel and palestine director for human rights watch who was just deported from israel. speaking to us frorom stockholm, sweden, where we will be broadcasting next week. when we come back, more than 340 people interact have been killed in's nationwide antigovernment protests began in october. we will speak with the iraqi
4:27 pm
poet, novelist, scholar sinan antoon. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:28 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, i'm m amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to iraq where more than 340 people have died since anti-governmenent protests began in early october. more than 15,000 iraqis have been injured. on monday, tires were set on fire and main roads and bridges were blocked in the cities of basra and nassiriya. over the weekend, security forces opened fire on civilians in baghdad and other cities. the demonstrators are protesting corruption and lack of jobs and basic seservices, including clen water and electricity. falah hassan took part in the protests in basra. >> our protests are peaceful. we are taking our rights back. we will never surrender, neither today, and tomorrow, nor even after one year. the authorities make themselves
4:29 pm
tired. the security forces are our sons, cousins, and brothers. why do they hit us whenever they get out of their vehicles and open fire on us? amy: in baghdad, many university students are taking part in the demonstrations. >> when we are p protesting, weo not aim to dirtrty or destroy streets. we want toto achieve our demands and live with peace and securirity. god willing and with the determination of our brothers, the protesters, we will achieve our aspirations. we are university students. we join the protesters. god willing, we will have success. amy: to talk more about the protests in iraq, we are joined by the iraqi poet, novelist, translator, and scholar sinan antoon. he was born and raised in baghdad and is now associate professor at new york university. his most recent novel "the book , of colollateral damage." it is great to have you with us. 340 iraqi protesters dead right i havece the protests just recently begun.
4:30 pm
can you talk about the situatation? talk about the level of violence and also what are the demand? what caused the latest round of protest? >> this started out in october, the first day of october. unlike previous waves of verysts, october 1 were spontaneous and mostly from the working class, impoverished neighborhoods in baghdad. the unprecedented lethal response of the regime by killing many of these peaceful protesters fueled the anger of so many other iraqis who then came out in bigger waves, especially on the 20th of october. what started out as a protest from a certain group of people has become now really widespread . so many different sectors have joined these protests. it is unprecedented in the modern history of iraq does so many people from so many different backgrounds come
4:31 pm
together for this set of demands. it is basically the culmination and6 years of corruption inefficiency and failure on the part of the political class to deliver anything -- basic services, as you mentioned. so the demands now are that the solution of the -- dissolution of the parliament, they should be a new election law, there should be new constitution that is drafted. these are the demands. unfortunatelely, not surprising, the regime has not really responded except with violence and death. it doesn't seem to understand the level of seriousness. it is also a huge gap in so many ways between the political elite and -- ensconced in the green zone, living their luxurious lives, and the rest of iraqi society, which lives outside. it is also a generational gap. iraq is a very young population and the great majority of these
4:32 pm
who weres are people born in the 1990's and have only seen the corruption in the failure of the -- and its ability to protect its citizens with the isis occupation and so on and so forth. what is important is the reclaiming of the iraqi identity and a new sense of iraqi nationalism that transcends the sectarian discourse that was institutionalized by the united states and 2003 and that so many of these political parties used to maintain their power over large sectors of societyty. so many iraqisis, despite the death and painin, so many iraqis are hopeful to see the creativity and the resilience of these protesters. what they are doing all across wheren these sites
4:33 pm
they're trying to reinvent the meaning of the country, but also their ability, for example, into rear square, to reform this place that has been the buildings in the tunnel and the square that is so important sysymbolically w was completeley ignored and they have managed to ,lean up the place and use art covering the walls of graffiti that represents unity and hope, to start a cinema inside tahrir square. the main slogan that started these protest was "we want to homeland," which is very powerful which reflects the political class in the system that was installed after the occupation has failed to give citizens in a sense of meaning or to deliver any services. , the, as the time goes by regime's forces and the militias
4:34 pm
continue to kill these peaceful demonstrators. juan: you mentioned the efforts of the yououng protesterers to o beyond the ethnic and religious divisions that have been exploited by the political class now, whether it is sunni or shiite or kurdish or israeli. the united states also has emphasized for so long, first, the threat of saddam hussein, irani says, that always of in the great threat behind their problems besetting the iraqi people. could you talk about the impact of this continued u.s. effort to demonize particular groups in the world of the iraqi population? >> iran has so much influence inside iraq and has infiltrated
4:35 pm
so many of the institutions and back so many of these militias, but all of that is a product of the u.s. occupation and invasion of iraq. is one of then targets of these protesters, it is important to remember thahata lot of the signs and placardrdsf protesesters have in tahrir sque turkey,ywhere say no to no to israel, no to the united dates. but united states, because of its geopolitical interest and its onongoing confrorontation wh iran and 70 cocountries focuses only on thisis one dimension, which is iran. no one denies iran backs many of these parties in iraq financially and otherwise has infiltrated iraqi society and so many ways. but there are all of these other dimensions. sadly, it may seem meager in this country and even in europe,
4:36 pm
it is very myopic and only sees in these protests there against iran and a threat to iran and butregime, of course, iraqis want to reclaim the country and they want sovereignty and there against all types of intervention. 2003, the state is very weak in a way. we have turkish trips in the north, american troops. are reallyesters very conscientious of all of this and really have a deep understanding -- at least judging from what they say when they appear on the media -- the interest of iraq and the iraqis come first and sovereignty is very important. of course, it is not going to be taken back overnight, but they iranianiran -- the regime is not the only threat or the only sponsor certain forces.
4:37 pm
amy: i want to turn to vice president mike pence who made a surprise visit to iraq this weekend. vice pres. pence: with regards to our c conversation with president armani, we have spoken about the unrest taken place in recent weeks in iraq. he a assured me e that they were or the to avoid violence kind of repression we see taking plplace even asas we speaeak in. and he pledged to me they would work to protect and respect peaceful prorotesters as a partf the democratic process here in iraq. is vice presidentnt pence his surprise e visit. your r response to what he said and also p president trump saide is pulling troops out of the area when he was talking about syria, then turns out he was putting them into iraq. this is theook, language that a lot of these
4:38 pm
protests are also going out against. pence because of the democratic process. this is the real hope, actually, in iraq since 2003, using the term "democratic process." what has this democratic process brought to iraqis? $650 billion has disappeared from the coffers. this is a very rich country. calls it unrest. it is not really unrest. these are peaceful protesters that are being killed. this language is meaningless. neither pence more trump has any credibility in iraq or the region, nor does t the u.s. the administration. i mean, it has a very long established history of supporting dictators and dictatorships. and rehabilitating. i mean, saudi arabia is one example. of course, the u.s. is in a way in collusion with the iraqi regime.
4:39 pm
none of this really matters to the protesters on the ground. they are resilient and they're going to wait and try to snatch whatever's possible. but i want to say irrespective of what happens, i think the new language that these protesters have reclaimed and the new sense of belonging is going to go on and they're not going to give up on their demands no matter what the regional and international response is. you know, there always calls this a the iraqi people, but none of these protesters realize it. there is symbolic support. neither the u.s. government nor any of the regional regimes are on their side. juan: you mentioned a couple of times changes since 2003. obviously, the u.s. . invasion f iraq. now, the youngs protesters, were basically children at the time of the invasion. the agenda of how the elders of
4:40 pm
iraq, the older population judged the difference between the society theyey had underer e dictatorship of saddam hussein, yet it was a modern and relatively well-off population, compared to what the situation that is existed for the past 16 years? >> it was not a well-off population. one of the problem -- the many disastrous effects of u.s. occupation and installing the new regime is to push people to sometimes make these comparisons. i don't think 2003 is the actual break, even though i use it myself. 1991, the remember in first gulf war after saddam's invasion of kuwait, is really the moment when, to quote jim baker back then he said, "we will return you to the preindustrial age." of iraqi society
4:41 pm
in terms of its institutions at infrtructure s started out in 1991. anand then we had the sanctions for so many years that really also further destroyed, continuing the war by other means, killing one million, driving 3 million out of the country. but what matters is to look at what 2003 had d done. it wasas asked three and a very long process of dismantling the iraqi state. irrespective of saddam hussein stop destroying social fabric, destroying -- not allowing the regime even to rebuild the country. that is what really matters. i should they the majority of these protesters, they are unencumbered by all of these old questions. and they really don't care much about comparison between pre-2003 and post-2003. they want to live a good life in accordance with the resources that the country has. they know the country is rich in
4:42 pm
resources. they are well aware through social media, through other information, that this political class is a group of crooks. they know because there are so many scandals and there are numbers and figures. and that is what they really want. it is about the future. it is not about the past. what patient does this political class after the country? nothing. amy: talk about the role of women in these protests. >> women in iraqi society have a long history that many people don't know. the first woman minister in the entire region was actually in iraq. this wave of about protest is, as i said, so many people from all backgrounds are participating. varioususfrom generations, from various backgrounds, are participating in the protests, are there not only in supportive roles, but really spearheading all of the
4:43 pm
stand to defend the spots in these squares. and a sense of vololunteerism ad coming together. i am usually a pessimist, but what is really making me optimistic about this is it is really changing the relationships between people of different backgrounds and making people come together for the country. everywhere you look, you see women on the ground. you see women at the forefront. you see a change in the sense of people fighting against authority and against patriarchy. there are so many moving themes. a young boy was taken inside a police car for raising an iraqi flag. schoolgirls from nine or 10 policice crowded on the car and stararted prototesting d chanting and forced the pololice to releaea this boy.y. thisis is the new sense of impairment these people feel,
4:44 pm
whether men or women, people of different generations -- which is really amazing. politicalof the parties or regular organizations involved, to a large degree, is it a legalist -- an elitist uprising? >> there have been attempts to hijack and infiltrate in their ongoing as we speak, but there protesters have shown a sense of awareness and when the regime ask them to present a list of figures to negotiaiate, they set the names of the martyrs, the people who have died, saying these are our leaders. it is very poetic but also very powerful, which means unless they are held accountable for the crimes they hahave committe, there will be no negotiation. of course, this is a sense of strength not having a leadership, but also tricky because sooner or later, they have to emerge a certain
4:45 pm
structure and a leadership to be able to translate ththese d dems and go on. but we don't know yet. amy: we want to thank you, sinan antoon, for being with us. poet, novelist, translator, and scholar born and raised in baghdad. he's an associate professor at new york university. his most recent novel, "the book of collateral damage." when we come back, we look at the life and legacy of toni morrison. last week literary luminary, social leaders from around the country gathered in new york cathedral of st. john the divine, to honor her including oprah winfrey. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:46 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we want to turn to the incredible legacy of toni morrison. last week literary social leaders gathered at thee cathedral of st.t. john the dive
4:47 pm
in manhattan to honor morrison, one of thehe nation's most influence all writers. she died in august at the age of 88 from complications of pneumonia. in 1993, she became the first african-american woman to receive the nobel prize for literature. she also won a pulitzer prize in 1988 per classic work "beloved." onh of her writing focused the black female experience in america. her writing style under the rhythms of black oral tradition. amy: in 2012, president obama awarded toni morrison the presidential medal of freedom. as st. john the divine, tom ozzie coats come edge which then to cap him and oprah winfrey were among those who spoke about toni morrison's life and legacy. oprah winfrerey was t the last speaker r of the evening. >> the first time i came faface-to-face with h toni morrn was in maya angelou's backyard for a gathering of sosome of f e
4:48 pm
most illustrious like pepeople u have ever heard d of. m mrison'sate, toni nobel prize victory. my head and mymy heart were swirlingng. every time i looked a at her, i could not even speak. i had to c catch my breath. and i was seated across from her at dinner and there was a moment when i saw miss morrison just gesture to the waiter for some water. and i almost tripped over myself tryiying to get up f from the te to get it foheher. saiaid to himim "sit dodown." [laughter]r] "w"we have people here to do th. yoyou are a guest." so i sat down n and obeyed, of course. but it was not easy, i tell l y, to s sit still or keep myself
4:49 pm
inside my body. i felt like i was all of seven yearss old. because after all,, she was there. in some of the others that day. marty evans, sisterer angela das was there, nikki giovanni was there, rita doug w was there, ty was there. and i w wasriters mecca there sittining a at the table taking it all in. remainsk back that they one of t the great thrills of my llife. i did not rereally get too s spo toni morrison that day. i was just too bedazzled. but i had already previoiously called her up to a ask about a - inquiring the film rights to "beloved" after i finished reading it. i found heher number, called he, , is it truesked her
4:50 pm
ththat sometimes p people have o read over your work in order to understand it to getet the fulul memeaning? "dad, myly replilied, dear, is called reang." [laughter] i wass embarrassed. but that statemement actually ge me the c confidence years later when i i f formed the book on te oprah show w to choosose her wo. ii chose more of her books than anany other author overer the y. [applause] "song of solomon." "the bluest eyeye." "pararadise."" if anyone e of our viewers complained it was challenging reading toni morrison, i simply said, "thatat, my dear, is s cad readading." no distancece between toni morrison and herr words.
4:51 pm
i loved h her novels. but lately, i'veve been rereadig her r essays, whicich underscore that she was also o one of our most influential p public intellectuals. in one essay she s said, "if writing i is thinking and discovery anand selection and order and meaning, it i is also awee and reveverence and mystery and magic." and this, "fax can exisist witht human intelligence, but truthth cannot." shshe thought ably abouout the e of thehe artist t and cononcludt writers s are amonong the most sensitive, most intellectually and m most representatative, mot probing of all the artists. she believed it was s a writers job to ripip the v veil off, to board downwn to the e tree. she took the c canon and s she e it open. among heher legacies, the wrwris
4:52 pm
she paved the way for, manyny of them here in this beautiful space tonigight, , celebrating . toni morrison was her words. she is her words. for her words often w were confrontational. she spoke the unspoken, she probed the unexplored, shehe wre of eliminating the whitete gazef not wantining to speak for black peopople but wanting to speak to them. to be amonong them. to be e among all people. her words don't permit the reader to dodown them ququicklyd forget them -- we know that. they refused to be skimmed. they will not be ignored. theyey can get you, tuturn you upside down, makake you think yu jujust don't get it. but when you finally do o come t whenen you fininally do and you always will when you open yourself to what she is offering, you experiencee, as ii have many times readining toni morrrrison, a kind of emancipatn
4:53 pm
, a liberation, and an ascension to anonother levevel of understanding. because by taking us down there and mid t the pain, t shadows,, she urgeges us to keep going, to keep feeling, to keep trying to figure it all out with her words and her ststories as guide and companion. d d she asksks us to follolow or own pain, to reckckon with it, d at last to transcend it. while she is no longer on this earth, her magnificent soul, her boundless imagination, her fears passion, her gallantry, she told me once "i've a always known i s gallant." [laughter] who sasays that?t? [laughter] who even k knows they are gagal?
4:54 pm
well, her gallantry remains always to o help us navigate our way through. i would like to close the evening with an excerpt frorom "s"song of solomon." i have many favorite passages when it comes to toni'ss b bodyf work.. when you just shared, kevin.n. "mommama, did you ever love us?" but this onone from "song of solomon," neverer fails to inspe awe for me. and for that and so much else, i say thank you to this singular monumental gallant writer. "he had come out of nowhere. as ignorant as a ham andndroke as a convict with nothing -- bibleg but free papers, a
4:55 pm
, and a a pretty black haired we . and d in onene year, he leased 0 acreres. 16 years 10 more later, he had one of the best farms in the county a fafarm tht color their lives like a paintbrush and spoke to them like the sermon. , , the farm said d to them, see? see what you can do. you see? nevermind you can't tell one letter from another, nevever mid you born a slave, never mind you lose y your name. never minind your daddy dead.
4:56 pm
never mind nothing.. year is what a manan can do if he puts his mind to it and his back and it.t. stop sniveling, is that. stop picking round the edges of the world. take advantage. and if you can take advantage, take disadvantage. live here. we live e here! planet, in this nation come in this county. can't you see that? can'n't you see? here in this right rock. don't you see? we got a home in this rock.
4:57 pm
and d if i gotot a home, you got one, too. so grab it. grab this land. land.his hold this s land, my brothers. in my home.dy crying i want you to o take this lanan, make it, my brothersrs, shake i, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it,t, whippet, stop it, dedicate, plow it, , cede it, rebid, rerent ity , build it,it,t, own it multiply it, a and pasass it on- you hear me? do y you hear me? "ass it on! thanank you. [applaususe] amy: oprah winfrey remembering the great writer toni morrison at the cathedral of st. john the divine in manhattan.
4:58 pm
the nobel and pulitzer prize-winning writer died in august at the age of 88. that does it for our show. tune into our thursday and friday specials was not on thanksgiving, we will speak to the e indigenous schcholar and activist nick estes, citizen of tribe and other. then we will hear from arundhati roy. on friday, we will bring you a special ur with the legendary musicianndnd artt david byrne. we'll talk about his time in t talkg g head hisis yrs o of advocy, the rsons to cheeul, and s new hi broaay sho "amican utoa." thatoes it f our brocast. decracy no is lookg for edback fm peopleho apeciate t closed captiong. mail youcommentso oueach@demracynow.g or il them decracy no p. box 693 new yo, new yo 10013. [captiing madeossible demoacy now!
4:59 pm
5:00 pm
♪ hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." >> we start in south korea where we're learning more details about a controversial plan to settle an issue that has soured relations between seoul and tokyo. the country's national assembly speaker has proposed a fund to pay consolation money to japanese suing for wartime compensation. they plan to introduce a bill to create a fund through donations. it would

4 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on